Friday, 28 December 2007

Earth Field

I've written a story! It's just a short, very simple piece, but it's the first writing I've done for several years. It's a less-than-subtle parable of the world we live in. I was inspired by George Orwell's Animal Farm, but in my story I've named the characters after the real-life people they allegorize, rather than making up names like "Old Major" and "Snowball". Feel free to copy and paste it wherever you like, but I do claim the "author's moral rights"; that I'm identified as the person who wrote the story. Hope you enjoy it!

EARTH FIELD by Ben Emlyn-Jones

Once upon a time there was a farm called UN Farm owned by a man called Farmer Epresentative. In this farm was a field of cattle called Earth Field. The cows were of four colours, white, black, brown and grey. The field was square in shape and divided into four quarters. The white cows lived in White Quarter, the brown cows lived in Brown Quarter, the grey cows lived in Grey Quarter and the black cows lived in Black Quarter. All four quarters were the same except for White Quarter. In White Quarter there grew a huge oak tree. Every autumn the tree shed a lot of small, hard, ugly objects called “acorns” which stuck in the cow’s hoofs and made the field look very untidy, so the cows threw them over the hedge out of the field. The cows had a happy life; they never fought or argued. They had plenty of food because every day, Farmer Epresentative drove up in his lorry and dumped a pile of grass clippings for them to eat, and filled their water trough. Then he used to open the back of his lorry and ask four or five of them nicely: “Would you be so kind as to step aboard; I’m going to drive you to another field”. They did so willingly and he drove off. The cows all thought how lucky they were to have Farmer Epresentative. He told them all the time: “You NEED me! Without me you’d have nobody to deliver your feed and nobody to keep you safe from wolves”. (Nobody had ever seen a wolf, and so you couldn’t prove they exist, but that was probably only because Farmer Epresentative was so good at keeping them away!)

Then one year, hard times struck. There was a very cold winter and it was followed by a hot, dry summer. Farmer Epresentative started bringing less and less grass clippings and less and less water. He used to dump them only in White Quarter because he didn’t have enough for all four quarters. So the cows of all four colours started moving into White Quarter to eat and drink, and also to get out of the sun because it was only in White Quarter that there was the tree. (Two very strange cows called Wilhelm and Reich came up with an idea to grow more trees. They said: “Hey, instead of throwing the acorns out of the field why not plant them in the ground and…” But the other cows wouldn’t let them finish. “SHUT UP! That’s nonsense! I’ve been to the Cow University and so I’m very clever; and I say that it’s nonsense!” Wilhelm and Reich came up with another crazy idea: “Why do we only eat the grass clippings that Farmer Epresentative brings us? Why don’t we eat the grass that grows in the field? Then there’d be plenty for everyone. We could also drink rainwater…” But the intelligent cows would have none of it: “SHUT UP! Farmer Epresentative has told us we can’t do that! Wilhelm and Reich! For God’s sake, grow up and join the real world!) So life dragged on. The cows all crushed in under the tree in White Quarter. It was hot and stuffy with no room to move or even breathe properly and the ground began to crumble from being trampled under too many hoofs. Worst of all, Farmer Epresentative’s supply of grass clippings and water was not enough for all the cows. Pretty soon the white cows began to get annoyed. They said: “Hey you black, brown and grey cows! Why don’t you piss off back to your own quarters of the field!?” The black, brown and grey cows said: “But there’s no food, water or shelter there. If we go back we’ll starve and die of thirst and sunburn.” The white cows said: “But if you stay here we’ll ALL die because there’s not enough resources for us all! The land will be ruined because we’ve eroded it with too many hoofs!” They failed to reach an agreement so there was a big fight and eventually the white cows elected a leader called Blair. Blair’s first move was to set up an army led by his best friend Griffin; they called it the White Quarter Nationalist Party. The role of the WQNP was to eject any non-white cows caught sneaking into White Quarter. They did this very violently and some non-white cows got killed. But the non-white cows were so hungry and thirsty they were willing to risk it and a few got past the WQNP. They set up home secretly in White Quarter, living off slave-labour jobs and handouts from a few of their white cow friends. In the rest of the field, life went from bad to worse. The situation was so desperate that the cows there elected brutal tyrants to lead them. The black cows elected a cow called Mugabe, the brown cows elected a cow called Saddam and the grey cows elected a cow called Pinochet. Mugabe, Saddam and Pinochet ruled by cruelty and murder, but there was no other way because resources were so scarce. (Mugabe, Saddam and Pinochet strangely never went hungry or thirsty themselves. No matter how much poverty there was in their quarters, they always lived comfortably on little patches of lush greenery with loads of grass clippings and huge troughs of water delivered by Farmer Epresentative. None of the other cows in the non-white quarters benefited in this way from this; only the three dictators personally did.) Things were so bad in Earth Field that when Farmer Epresentative showed up with his lorry, there was a mad scramble to be selected to be taken into the back of the lorry.

Then one day, a bright, young heifer called Person came up with an idea: He would approach Farmer Epresentative, explain the situation and ask for his help. He left the field and walked through UN Farm to the farmhouse and knocked on the door. There was no answer so he opened the door a bit. “Hello? Farmer Epresentative? Are you home?” There was no reply. So Person entered the house and looked around for him. He eventually heard human voices behind a closed door. The door had a sign on it saying “The Bilderberg Room”. Person was about to knock when some instinct stopped him. Instead he quietly turned the handle and opened the door a crack. He peeked in and saw that the Bilderberg Room was a kind of office. Farmer Epresentative was sitting behind his desk and two other humans were sitting opposite him talking and laughing with him. They were eating a strange food: sandwiches filled with slices of a hard, black substance. The three humans got up and came to the door. Person ran and hid round the corner listening. Farmer Epresentative and the two other humans walked off down the corridor and soon Person heard the front door open and close as they all left the farmhouse. Alone once more, Person gingerly went into the office, led by some subconscious curious urge. He opened the filing cabinet, started up the PC and spent the next two hours reading. By the time he was finished he was shivering and crying; his life was changed forever. Then he noticed that one of the sandwiches that Farmer Epresentative and the other humans had been eating was left lying half-eaten on the desk. With a trembling hoof, Person reached out, picked it up and examined it. He lifted his head and screamed.

Person ran back to the Earth Field yelling. “Listen to me! Listen to me! All of you!” The other cows looked up at him. “Where have you been?””
“I’ve been to the farmhouse” Person panted breathlessly as he arrived in the field. I’ve found out something terrible! Our whole lives and society are a scam! This farm is not called UN Farm, it’s called NWO Farm!”
The other cows gasped. “You’ve been to the farmhouse!? That’s against the rules! Farmer Epresentative told us…”
“His name is NOT Farmer Epresentative!” yelled Person. “It’s Farmer Luminati!”
The other cows scoffed. “That’s insane, Person! Farmer Epresentative would never lie to us! He looks after us. We NEED him.”
“He IS lying!” shouted Person. “And the names are only the tip of the iceberg! Did you know that there are no wolves living in this area? Farmer Luminati made them up to keep us afraid and to make us think we need him to protect us! He’s also got a huge mountain of grass clippings in his shed that he’s hiding from us! There’s enough there to feed everyone for years! There’s also a huge reservoir of water behind the house and pumps and pipes that he could use to irrigate Earth Field if he wanted to, but he doesn’t! What’s more, he’s got classified documents in his office that prove Wilhelm and Reich right! We CAN eat the grass under our feet! It’s the SAME substance as our grass clipping feed! Also we can grow trees in every part of the field by planting the acorns that we chuck out!”
The other cows laughed. “But Wilhelm and Reich are nutcases! I learned all about them in Cow University.”
“The Cow University was set up secretly by Farmer Luminati to blinker us from the truth!” yelled Person. “The courses are deliberately designed to teach us that anyone who makes us think we don't depend on Farmer Luminati is a nutcase! It’s a lie!”
“Why should we believe you?” The other cows replied. “You’re just a silly little calf who dropped out of Cow School.”
“Cow School is the same as the Cow University! Only it’s for little calves rather than older cows.” said Person. “There’s much worse though. It will upset you to learn this, but it’s the truth so you need to hear it: Blair and Griffin are in on the plot! Farmer Luminati is paying them off with extra feed and water! The same goes for Mugabe, Saddam and Pinochet! But it gets EVEN worse! You know when Farmer Luminati takes a few of us away in his lorry?”
“Yes!” said the other cows. “He drives us to another field. We all want to be selected to go because it’s far better there.”
“But it’s not!” yelled Person. “It’s not even another field! It’s a slaughterhouse! Those cows all get killed and humans eat us!”
There was a long pause. The cows all turned their eyes on their leader. “This can’t be true can it?” they frown.
Blair, Griffin, Mugabe, Saddam and Pinochet all chuckled nervously. “Of course it isn’t! This is just the ramblings of a silly little calf who’s got into conspiracy theories. Person, go and see a vet! Get some sanity pills! I’m worried you might have BSE…”
“How come none of our leaders ever get chosen for the lorry!?” demanded Person. “You’d think with their power and respect, they’d be at the front of the queue, but none of them ever go to ‘the other field’. Why’s that?... I’ll tell you why!? Those five have all signed a deal with Farmer Luminati for their own lives! They’ve agreed to help him rule Earth Field in exchange for never being butchered themselves!”
The five leaders get angry. “Do you have no respect for those cows who’ve gone to the Happy Field? Our friends and relatives we’ve had to say goodbye to? You come up with these groundless allegations without a shred of evidence…”
“No evidence?” said Person raising his eyebrows. “What’s THIS then!?” He hurled the discarded sandwich at the feet of the other cows.
The other cows went up and examined the hard, black substance inside.” What is this?” they ask.
“It’s called ‘beef’.” said Person and he stared to cry.
“What’s ‘beef’?” the other cows asked.
Person sobs “OUR DEAD BODIES!”
There was a terrible pause. The other cows turned to their leaders. “Tell us this isn’t true.” they whispered desperately.
The five leaders trembled. “Erm… Cows! Our… er… lovely Cows! Come on! I can’t believe you’re… er… taking this fake evidence seriously! This ‘beef’ stuff just isn’t real! Person made it up!”
“Why!?” they asked. “And how!?”
The five leaders stuttered, unsure of what to say.
The other cows began walking towards them with a gleam of rage in all their eyes. The leaders began walking away from them shaking with fear. The other cows started running. The five leaders started running. Eventually they leaped over the hedge to escape their angry subjects and disappeared over the hillside. They were never seen again.
“AND STAY OUT! yelled the other cows at their retreating tails.

The next day Farmer Luminati turned up at the field and dumped the grass clippings into the manger and filled the water trough in White Quarter. Then he opened the back of the lorry. There was a pause. “Well come on.” He said. “Who’s up for Happy Field today?”
The cows didn’t reply. They just eyed him silently. None of them ate or drank.
Farmer Luminati looked at the untouched grass clippings in the manger. “What’s up? Aren’t you hungry today? Have you all got worms or something?”
“We’ve already eaten.” said Person shortly.
“Already eaten? What are you talking about?”
“We’ve started eating the grass under our feet. And we know who you really are… Farmer Luminati!”
Farmer Luminati turned white and started shaking with shock and rage. “GET IN THAT LORRY!” he yelled. “DO IT!... NOW!”
“No thanks.” said Person. “We’re quite happy here.”
There was a pause; then Farmer Luminati ran up to the nearest cow and tried to drag her into the lorry by force. He heaved with all his might and managed to make her budge one inch before the other cows ran to her aid. Farmer Luminati fled. He jumped into his lorry and drove off at full speed. The cows jeered triumphantly at his retreating exhaust pipe.

The cattle of Earth Field tore down the lane to NWO farmhouse. Farmer Luminati ran for his life. He disappeared over the same hillside as the five former cow leaders and was never seen again. The cows broke open the secret shed and distributed all the hoarded grass clippings; they also went to the reservoir and drank till their hearts’ content. They set up the water pump and pipes to bring the water directly to Earth Field so they’d never be thirsty again. They then all went up to Wilhelm and Reich and apologized. They did the same to Person and thanked him. They planted the acorns all over the field and pretty soon a forest of saplings sprouted up. It would only take a few years until every corner of the field had its own trees to shelter under. The reservoir and irrigation system meant that before long the cows wouldn’t even need Farmer Luminati’s secret glass clipping mountain; they’d have all the grass they needed right under their feet, no matter how hot and dry the weather got. This had a very beneficial effect on the cow’s lives. They were much happier and more relaxed. They could work shorter hours and spend more time at leisure, sports and games, and artistic creation. They also no longer had any need to bicker and scramble because they now understood that there was plenty for everyone. The WQNP was disbanded, as were the puppet regimes’ state apparatus in the other four quarters. The cows eventually even abolished the four-quarters system altogether and divided the field up into much smaller areas. They elected less-powerful and more approachable representatives to manage these smaller areas that were subject to immediate recall if they ever betrayed their mandate.

This new system made the cows all very prosperous. They began to explore the world outside Earth Field with renewed interest. Ideas and plans for expeditions that they never previously had the time and security to think about now popped into their heads. They found other fields and houses with other animals: Sheep, pigs, humans, dogs. They exchanged thoughts and feelings with these other creatures and enriched their own culture as a result. They soon began to have magnificent flights of intellect that caused the biggest bombshell of all: They were not really cattle at all. They were infinite consciousness having a “cow experience”. All matter was just energy; they were all one Big “I”. There was no such thing as death, life was just a dream and they were the imagination of themselves. This gave them the knowledge to speak to all other parts of that consciousness. Even all the cows that had been killed at the slaughterhouse over the years! They were full of hope and excitement because they knew that this would eventually lead to a future more glorious than anyone can imagine.
And, if you’ll excuse the cliche, They All Lived Happily Ever After.